I booked a stay for myself and my friend in a flat in Edinburgh hosted by a young couple. They were very nice in the messages exchanged, and when we got to the flat they were very friendly, kind, and accommodating. When we were shown to the bedroom, I could tell immediately that the floor wasn’t vacuumed because of the huge clump of brown hair in the middle of the floor plus all the lint everywhere. My friend and I tried to look past it because of how nice the hosts were.
Sadly, the immaturity of the hosts, and the filth of apartment making me physically ill caused us to check out two days early just to GTFO. As the days went by, things started becoming more and more distressing, but my friend and I really did our best to overlook the issues. First of all, the hosts are a Finnish woman and her much younger fiancé who is 23. I do not have any issues with age differences – in fact, I welcome them – but her spouse had all the maturity of a 15-year-old boy.
The first problem that came about from our stay was watching the terribly disrespectful dynamic between these two. The “Man Child” was exactly that; he refused to clean up after himself (he would leave his mess everywhere and wait for his girlfriend to clean once she got home from work), he somewhat proudly professed that he only eats chips (i.e. French fries), chicken nuggets, canned beans, and basically junk food, and he would stay at home all day on his days off or when he got home from work, sitting in the same spot in the living room, playing video games and yelling profanity at the TV screen.
I did not have much of a problem with the girlfriend because she was nice enough, though spineless. The Man Child completely ruined the stay because the apartment was absolutely filthy and it was mostly his doing. He expected his girlfriend to clean up after him, but she was only one person. He always left a perimeter of garbage (empty snack bags, take out bags, multitudes of empty Coke cans) and smelly dirty plates, bowls, and dishes around himself in the shared living room. What’s worse, is this guy expected guests to sit with him in the shared living room and socialize amongst his filth. The odor in the room was terrible. It smelled of whatever greasy food he ate, fart, feet, unwashed male, dog, and overall stagnation.
On their Airbnb profile, they asked that you clean up after yourself and respect their home. My friend and I did exactly that, but it’s difficult when the hosts themselves do not do the same. Man Child often left his cans of beans in the kitchen sink, and then he would emerge from his spot in the living room to greet you while being oblivious to the bean stains on his T-shirt. What’s more, the bathroom was always covered in brown hairs that obviously came from Man Child because he was the only person with brown hair. There were strands of brown hair all over the shower walls, and curly brown hairs scattered everywhere (which I sincerely hope were beard hairs) on the counter and bath tub.
Sometimes Man Child would mistakenly not close the door to their bedroom, and sadly we had to see the state of where they slept. It’s reminiscent of the bedroom of an angry and unhappy 13-year-old girl: piles of clothes literally everywhere, things and stuff strewn all over, and drawers that were broken and left like that. Holy slob, Batman. Watching the man child make his girlfriend do all the “woman’s work” was pretty unsettling. He straight up said that he would not do dishes. He did not do anything to help unless asked. I heard too many times his girlfriend asking “Man Child, come back and put the milk back in the fridge,” “Man Child, take out the rubbish,” “Man Child, put these away,” and so on.
The worst was one night when the girlfriend was making him dinner consisting of baked frozen French fries. When she had her back turned to Man Child (because she was doing the dishes) he took all the fries and left none for her. Her reaction was outraged yet restrained because we were sitting in the kitchen viewing the whole ordeal. I really liked this woman, but she allows herself to be blatantly disrespected like this, and of course, we cannot say anything to her; we are not friends, we are guests that paid to stay in their home.
Now, moving on to why we had to check out early, their apartment was so disgusting and dirty that I was getting progressively sicker. This apartment did have a big dog, and I do in fact have a pet allergy. Weeks before I got to Edinburgh I got in contact with the female host and asked if I would be okay in her home. She assured me that their dog was not allowed in the guest bedroom, so I made the booking falsely assuming what she said was true. I have stayed in other Airbnb’s with pets, and I managed just fine with one Claritin.
At this pig stein in Edinburgh, I found myself being consistently congested despite taking the meds, and I ended up developing a terrible and persistent dry barking cough that isn’t part of normal allergies. I was becoming more and more desperate to ask if I could vacuum their floors because I knew they were aggravating my allergies since who knows when they were last vacuumed. The carpets in the hall, the shared living room, and even the bedroom I was staying in seemed to have a thick layer of dust, dirt, hairs, and general filth. I kept telling the hosts that I am not allergic to dog hair, and I am allergic to dander. The hosts did not care.
For days I longed for the floors to be vacuumed because I knew it would make me feel better. Man Child kept saying “tomorrow I’m going to vacuum” and unfortunately I believed him. The false promise of cleaning started on a Thursday, and on Saturday I was so unwell that I was bedridden. My wheezing dry cough physically exhausted me, my eyes were red and swollen that they were nearly shut, and I ended up taking too much Claritin that it made me feel not like myself.
On Sunday morning I had had it. I went into the shared living room where the two hosts were hanging out, and I demanded that I (as in me, the person who paid to stay in their hovel) vacuum not only the guest bedroom, but their entire flat. The girlfriend immediately screeched “Man Child!” because he was supposed to do it. I insisted that I can do it, but the girlfriend firmly told me that she had asked Man Child to do it so therefore he has to do it. Man Child did vacuum then and there, but he also fed me the excuse that “I was too tired last night” several times despite me being very vocal about being so unwell.
Once the floors were vacuumed I miraculously recovered. I was better. No more coughing, no more wheezing, and I was myself again. I was so thankful, but then I faced the horrible realization that it was their general filth and squalor that was making me so sick, not their dog. In fact, the dramatic colour change of the carpets once vacuumed thoroughly disturbed me. At that point I was absolutely disgusted and appalled by the conditions they live in when they have paying guests. We only stayed at this apartment for three more days, and my friend and I decided to not be there as much as possible and to try and avoid socializing with Man Child.
That night I cooked a simple meal for my friend and I because I finally had the vigor to do that after being so sick. While we were eating, we had the misfortune of hearing both hosts doing some kind of lackluster sex game; the girlfriend was squealing loudly, and at one point Man Child had her over his shoulder and they came into the hall to display themselves. We did our very best to ignore them and try to enjoy our meal, but then the girlfriend called out to us to purposefully get our attention and ensure that we could see them. Gross.
The next morning came the final straw. I got out of bed at 10:00 AM and went to their bathroom. The toilet had shit all over the bowl, and flushing the toilet did nothing to remove the excrement. That was it; it was too much. Leaving a shit-encrusted toilet for your guests is just too disrespectful. What do they expect their paying guests to do? Clean their literal shit?
The hosts were not home. The flat is located 20 minutes walk away from a Tesco, and my friend and I actually walked to the public toilets there rather than use their unsanitary toilet. My friend and I decided to just book elsewhere and get out of this terrible flat. I tried to contact the hosts, and I really wanted to speak to the girlfriend because she had the maturity that Man Child obviously lacked. I left messages on Airbnb for them to contact me or my friend asap.
Unfortunately, Man Child called me, and I had to explain to them that we are checking out early because their flat is too disgusting with its filth and squalor, but the shit encrusted toilet is blatantly disrespectful to their paying guests. They cherry on top? My friend and I went into the shared living room that day and there were piles of dirty dishes, glasses, and empty ice cream containers everywhere, plus a pair of dirty panties on the floor that were obviously peeled off then and there. What were they doing in the living room? Not that it matters, but they obviously do not clean the couches after…. gross.
On the phone with Man Child I told him that we would come back at around 6:00 or 7:00 PM to return their keys and that we need to have a discussion. Both of the hosts were so nice in the beginning, and we did sit around and chat often enough. I decided that we owe them an explanation as to why we were checking out early, and also because I had a sliver of hope that if we confronted them about their unsanitary home they might change their ways.
We arrived promptly at 7:00 PM to find both hosts sitting in the living room surrounded by the same exact piles of dirty plates, glasses, and empty ice cream containers that we discovered that morning. Man Child left this situation entirely to his girlfriend and handled it like a 15-year-old boy in trouble; he sat there not making eye contact with us, and not contributing the conversation. The poor girlfriend sat there turning more and more red listening to us explain to her that her house is so filthy and unsanitary that it made me physically ill, therefore, we have to leave. She only averted her eyes when we mentioned the dirty panties. The most uncomfortable part of the whole confrontation is that neither of them apologized, nor offered an explanation or even defended themselves. We checked out early, and we did not receive a refund. It was worth losing money just to get out of the insult that is their home.